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Photomed Laser Surg. 2012 Jan;30(1):54-60. doi: 10.1089/pho.2011.3073. Epub 2011 Oct 26.

670 nm laser light and EGCG complementarily reduce amyloid-β aggregates in human neuroblastoma cells: basis for treatment of Alzheimer's disease?

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Institute of Micro and Nanomaterials, Nanobionic Laboratory, University of Ulm, Ulm, Germany.



The aim of the present study is to present the results of in vitro experiments with possible relevance in the treatment of Alzheimer's disease (AD).


Despite intensive research efforts, there is no treatment for AD. One root cause of AD is the extra- and intracellular deposition of amyloid-beta (Aβ) fibrils in the brain. Recently, it was shown that extracellular Aβ can enter brain cells, resulting in neurotoxicity.


After internalization of Aβ(42) into human neuroblastoma (SH-EP) cells, they were irradiated with moderately intense 670-nm laser light (1000 Wm(-2)) and/or treated with epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG).


In irradiated cells, Aβ(42) aggregate amounts were significantly lower than in nonirradiated cells. Likewise, in EGCG-treated cells, Aβ(42) aggregate amounts were significantly lower than in non-EGCG-treated cells. Except for the cells simultaneously laden with Aβ(42) and EGCG, there was a significant increase in cell numbers in response to laser irradiation. EGCG alone had no effect on cell proliferation. Laser irradiation significantly increased ATP levels in Aβ(42)-free cells, when compared to nonirradiated cells. Laser-induced clearance of Aβ(42) aggregates occurred at the expense of cellular ATP.


Irradiation with moderate levels of 670-nm light and EGCG supplementation complementarily reduces Aβ aggregates in SH-EP cells. Transcranial penetration of moderate levels of red to near-infrared (NIR) light has already been amply exploited in the treatment of patients with acute stroke; the blood-brain barrier (BBB) penetration of EGCG has been demonstrated in animals. We hope that our approach will inspire a practical therapy for AD.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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